88
88
Hopkins, Stephen, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 5,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
88
Hopkins, Stephen, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island
Estimate
8,00012,000
LOT SOLD. 5,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

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Hopkins, Stephen, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island
Document signed ("Step. Hopkins"), 8 pages (12 5/8 x 7 7/8 in.; 320 x 200 mm), [Newport?, Rhode Island], 31 October 1760, comprising a Letter of Marque and Instructions issued to Peleg Clarke, of the brigantine Hart; formerly folded, three small holes in first page touching four words, guarded at fold margin. Black half-morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine.
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Catalogue Note

Governor Hopkins authorizes a privateer in the French and Indian War.

The firm of Audley and Peleg Clarke had extensive Rhode Island shipping interests and an established role in the transatlantic slave trade. Privateering was another major maritime business and often, the only way a colony could afford to engage in naval operations. In this document Clarke is authorized "to set upon by Force of Arms and subdue and take the Men of War, Ships, and other Vessels ... belonging to the French King ..." and is ordered "That all ships and vessels carrying soldiers, arms, powder, ammunition, or any other contraband goods ... shall be seized as Prizes." Such prizes were to be taken to the most convenient port in the British dominions "... in order to have the same legally adjudged in the Court of Admiralty of England."

Regarding the disposition of booty and prisoners the instructions state "That such Ships, Vessels, Goods, and Merchandizes ... shall not be sold, spoiled, wasted or diminished" and that no one "... of the enemy's party shall be in cold blood killed, maimed, or by Torture or Cruelty inhumanly treated." Clarke was not to "... upon any Pretence, molest, detain or imprison the ... Subjects of the Ottoman Empire" but was to "carry the subjects of the Ottoman Empire ... which he shall find on board French ships seized on the Levant Seas ... either to the nearest port of Turkey or Egypt, or their destined Port." Subjects of the Spanish Crown were also to be unhindered. The procedure for trial in the Admiralty Court is set down, the transferral of prisoners to court-appointed captors in port towns is described, and a description of the flag to be flown aboard ship is given.

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

|
New York